The 49ers, also not surprisingly, are slotted No. 23 in the debut rankings. Now it's up to first-year coach Jim Harbaugh and the new regime running the team to lift the Niners upward in the rankings as the year progresses.
NinersDigest.com ranked the 49ers at No. 19, ahead of each of the team's three divisional rivals in the NFC West, which was ranked as the weakest of the NFL's eight divisions. The Scout.com poll has the 49ers ranked behind St. Louis (No. 18) and Seattle (No. 21) and ahead of Arizona (No. 31).
NinersDigest.com's top five in the debut poll, in order, are Green Bay followed by the Indianapolis Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots and New York Jets. The consensus of the experts has it a bit differently with Green Bay at the top followed by Pittsburgh, New England, New Orleans and Baltimore.
The 49ers were ranked as high as No. 15 by one Scout.com expert and as low as No. 31 by another. No NFC West team was ranked higher than No. 13 in the first poll.
Here is the way our experts currently see the NFL from 1 to 32:
|1||Green Bay Packers||10-6||.625||5||1|
|3||New England Patriots||14-2||.875||10||1|
|4||New Orleans Saints||11-5||.688||9||1|
|8||New York Jets||11-5||.688||10||2|
|9||San Diego Chargers||9-7||.563||16||5|
|11||Kansas City Chiefs||10-6||.625||16||9|
|13||New York Giants||10-6||.625||16||6|
|14||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||10-6||.625||20||9|
|18||St. Louis Rams||7-9||.438||30||13|
|23||San Francisco 49ers||6-10||.375||31||15|
Hi = lowest (worst) ranking vote received
Low = highest (best) ranking vote received